Why Policymakers Should Rejoice at News of Beyoncé’s Pregnancy
1 year ago
With out of wedlock births soaring in black America the singer could set a new standard
So some of you may have heard that thanks to a lady named Irene I’ve been slightly distracted by having to evacuate my home so I’m just now catching up on the latest celebrity baby news. Normally I find the news that a celebrity I’ve never met is having a child about as interesting as news that any stranger that I’ve never met and will probably never meet, is having one. But when I found out that Beyonce Knowles is expecting I was actually happy to hear it, and not because I’m one of her many devoted fans. (Before they all gang up on me let me say for the record that I wouldn’t call myself a non-fan, but musically speaking I’m more of a Stevie Wonder and Stevie Nicks kind of gal, although I do have a Jay-Z song or two on my ipod.) But I was happy to hear the news of Beyonce’s pregnancy because fans of hip-hop will finally have two high-profile role models who are having a child within a committed, financially stable relationship, and not just a relationship, a marriage.
We’ve all heard the statistics, but they bear repeating. In the last ten years the number of children born out of wedlock has skyrocketed by 25 percent. Now, nearly 40 percent of kids are born to single mothers and among African-Americans the number is higher than 70 percent. And contrary to the myth the majority of these kids are not being raised in the luxury and security that Angelina Jolie’s kids are or any other celebrity who makes single parenthood look easy and glamorous. What we often don’t see behind the glamour are the nannies, maids and in-home tutors that few parents, particularly single parents, can afford. (And in Jolie’s case she now has Brad Pitt as a life partner, a luxury in itself—in more ways than one.)
The reality for a significant number of children born to unwed parents remains poverty, particularly for children of color. (For the record, my mom was once one of these single moms of color doing the best that she could and a pretty good job I might add.)